Todd Bishop hosts the birthday party. He invited a couple of interesting people, not all of them came to wish a happy birthday. This post just contains my favorite snatches of conversation I picked up at the party.

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The consumer version of Windows Vista was released exactly one year ago, that is on January 30, 2007. Volume license customers were able to get it two months earlier. At that time, I wondered why Microsoft missed the Christmas sales. Considering how long it took until the first Vista computers showed up in the shops, this move was not too bad with hindsight. It seems as if Microsoft already knew that it would be a long way to go for Vista. Nobody believed that adoption would still be a topic on Vista's first birthday.

Note that the citations are not in the order they were posted in Bishop's articles.

Charles Walling, a user:

Bill Gates and Co., with all their billions of dollars, should come up with a fix" to make sure that printers work with Vista…

Genovese, 13-year-old user:

It ended up being so many things that wouldn't work, that you get to the point where you just say, this thing has failed.

Barry Goffe, director of product management in the Windows group:

Because we made this conscious choice, to make architectural changes to improve security, we knew that there were going to be some things that broke…We tried to fix many of those things before we shipped Windows Vista. But the way ecosystems work, we weren't able to fix everything, and our partners weren't able to fix everything. Since we've shipped Windows Vista, we've done a tremendous amount of work with our partners, with the ecosystem, to improve compatibility of devices and applications.

Patrick Schmid, editor at Tom's Hardware:

In theory, Windows Vista should perform as fast as Windows XP. In reality, we found that Vista usually requires faster hardware and more hardware to get there.

Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a company that makes high-end custom computers:

But as soon as people realized that Vista had some maturity problems in the code, the big manufacturers promptly added it back. ... We're seeing, you could say 50-50, but it's a little bit swaying toward Vista."

Neil Charney, general manager in Microsoft's PC Windows group:

When XP first came out, I remember some of the questions were, why do I need this XP? My Windows 98 SE is good enough, I'm happy with it. There were concerns about compatibility then, as well, and compatibility is always a concern as we release a new operating system.

Bill Hibler, computer store owner:

I'm still stocking almost as much XP as I am Vista

Bill Gates:

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  1. Leonardo 16 years ago

    Oof… Has it been that long already?
    As you may remember, I do small (Avg 3-20 computers per office) businesses.
    I have done ZERO vista machines so far, even on new builds.
    I see Vista as I see Server ’03 (Sort of):
    Nice, but no machines are getting upgraded to it, as machines get replaced then they will (probably) get Vista.
    When a server is replaced, I upgrade to ’03.
    I can’t justify the cost, blah blah, you know the story.

  2. Lukas Beeler 16 years ago

    I think home users have it a lot harder with Vista.

    What kind of external hardware is used on a company desktop?

    First and foremost, printers. Most customers i work with have a centralised printing setup, using workgroup printers. In my office (where i hardly print anything) i have an aged InfoPrint 1120. It worked flawlessly on Vista – and even if it didn’t, i could just use a Generic PCL/PS driver.

    All other printers, HP LJ C 4700 / HP LJ 4250 / HP LJ 4350 had working drivers from the start. The InfoPrint 1332 and 1532 also worked from the start.

    What other equipment is there? Well SD cards, memory sticks, etc, but they’re all supported out of the box.

    So what’s next?

    Scanners, Multifunction Devices. Using Scan to Share / Scan to E-Mail, they’ve been OS independent anyway.

    I had an older HP AiO Device at home. It stopped working when i upgraded to Vista, so i threw it away. That’s my line of thinking, but not that of a common user – he’d expect to be able to use his HP AiO further.

    For home users, it’s a lot more complicated. Cameras, USB Headsets, Cheap AiO Devices, Cheap USB Printers, etc. pp.

    However, other manufacturers have the same problem. Upgrading to OS X 10.5 broke a lot of HP AiO Functionality on Macs.

  3. Jim 16 years ago

    At the college I work we had a few users clamoring for Vista and Office 2007. We pushed Office 2007 and it was a miserable experience for the college. MS really hosed up that one for us.

    Those who we upgraded to Vista that wanted it lasted only a couple of weeks before they begged to go back to XP. Our plans all along were to trickle it in where people were willing to try it and then move all 2000+ system here to Vista this fall. Sounds reasonable, right? Not so…no one wants it. In our labs we’re finding we have scanners and printers where no drivers exist and these are devices about 3 yrs old(despite what some say…3yr old hardware is not old hardware). The software and hardware we have work fine under XP though.

    Now we’re looking at delaying yet another year and depending on whether a good roadmap appears for the next version of Windows we might wait for it and skip Vista.

    Of course MS already has our money due to the volume licensing but it is making an impact on the students who use our systems that Vista isn’t all some might believe. Sure, a home user would likely be fine with it but the fact we can’t utilize it due to the costs to bring everything else up to speed(hardware, software, and training), they see that if the college can’t/doesn’t run it then it’s not for them.

    I won’t call Vista another WindowsME as I see it as having alot of potential but it really is hard to justify to anyone strong reasons to use it if XP is working fine for them already.

  4. Leonardo, I guess you belong to the majority of sys admins. Operating system are a little like new cars. The new model might be nice-to-have, but most of us can only afford a new car if and only if the old one has to be scrapped.

    Lukas, I am not sure if it is hard for home users. Usually, they only have to replace one or two devices with new ones. That might be annoying, but it is doable. For small business, it is usually also not a big deal to move to Vista. However, the improved security is probably the only important feature for them. Bigger companies face other problems. If you have several apps that are not supported by Vista, things can get really expensive. Most problematic probably is that you have to live with having XP and Vista in the same network for some time. That costs extra money because it complicates the manageability of your network.

    Jim, do you really believe that you can escape the compatibility problem by just waiting for Windows 7? What makes you believe that you won’t have even bigger problems if you have to move your Windows XP infrastructure to a far more advanced Windows 7?

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